Backboard Confessional

Negative Dunkacletics is in the midst of an unusually moving series of write-ups that celebrate the NBA’s sixteen playoff teams, as their mid-’90s emo/hardcore/indie band incarnates. As someone who counts both Ron Artest and The Appleseed Cast among my Facebook interests (and most likely my LiveJournal interests as well), this series has struck a particularly sweet chord inside of me – the chord that yearns to have my most disparate interests and hobbies bound together in one thoughtful and heartbreakingly uncommon blog post. That chord is probably a D minor.

On a personal level, the series culminates for me with the New York Knicks as Sunny Day Real Estate’s “Diary” – an essay on the unbalanced beauty of two top-heavy objects. For others, the high water mark may be their chilling rendition of the Los Angeles Lakers as Fugazi’s “Red Medicine” – a masterful narrative using Phil Jackson’s triangle offense and early-’90s post-hardcore as each other’s counterpoint.

Fugazi, from left (clockwise): Ron Artest, Phil Jackson, Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant

Back in the glory days of my sophomore year of high school, I was the architect of a horrifyingly popular emo band name generator. The deal was: You type in your name, my crazy algorithm tells you your emo band name.

The simple idea reached as far as the U.K., Slovakia, and Australia, according to the Linkin Park fan forum you are about to click on. My then-future girlfriend claims to have taken this quiz when she was in high school, three years before we even met. The cosmic ramifications of this project are disturbingly endless. Some depressed fifteen-year-old might have considered the global popularity of this emo band generator one of his greatest accomplishments. Unfortunately, he now considers it his most shameful confession.

I don’t have the time nor mental fortitude to break down all sixteen playoff teams, but fortunately, my emo band generator does. So in the spirit (or should I say, the June Spirit?) of Negative Dunkalectics’ groundbreaking series of articles, I have run my own personal emo test on each of the NBA’s playoff-bound squads. Some of the names are mysteriously appropriate, such as Oklahoma City’s “From Fifth to Last,” the 76ers’ “Scatter My Heartbeat,” and Miami’s “The Promise of the Rings.” Take the jump to find out…

(Eastern Conference by seed, on the left; Western Conference by seed, on the right)


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